Gouveia-Winslow gets some redemption for Virginia Tech
It was a game to remember for the entire Virginia Tech defense, which posted its first shutout since 2006 in Saturday's 19-0 win over Boston College, but there's one Hokies linebacker who likely feels a lot better than the rest of his teammates.
Linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, an Ashburn native, got the first interception of his career in the third quarter, a turnover that ultimately forced Eagles Coach Frank Spaziani to bench his quarterback, sophomore Dave Shinskie.
It was just one week ago that Gouveia-Winslow, Virginia Tech's starting whip linebacker to begin the season, saw his playing time drop dramatically after a poor performance in the Hokies' shocking upset loss against James Madison. He played just nine defensive snaps in Virginia Tech's 49-27 win over East Carolina.
Then in the second quarter Saturday, Gouveia-Winslow was beaten badly on a play action fake that resulted in a 27-yard completion to Boston College wide receiver Clyde Lee.
"The interception definitely brought my spirits up and got me through the second half," Gouveia-Winslow said. "Obviously after the JMU game, my performance wasn't what it should be ... but I never really got down. I took it as more momentum to get better."
A couple more postgame notes
*The only other Virginia Tech interception came from sophomore cornerback Jayron Hosley, who did not play in the Hokies first win of the season over East Carolina after violating a team policy. Hosley, who serves as Virginia Tech's primary punt returner, intercepted quarterback Dave Shinskie in the end zone in the first quarter when it appeared the Eagles would take an early lead. He also finished with four tackles.
"You don't want them getting down there in the first place," said defensive coordinator Bud Foster. "But any time you can keep them out of the end zone is big and [Hosley] stepped up there."
*I've already written at length about the defense's shutout, but I think some more emphasis needs to be out on just how well Virginia Tech's defensive line played this afternoon.
Leading the way was senior defensive end Steven Friday, who finished with two sacks and three tackles for loss goign up against Boston College left tackle Anthony Castonzo, a player many NFL scouts think is a top-15 draft pick next year.
The other defensive end, junior Chris Drager, also had a sack, forced a fumble, and then recovered it all in one play during the second half. Senior Defensive tackle John Graves wasn't credited with a sack, but I feel like he may have gotten the shaft from the Boston College statistic folks. It felt like he ws in the backfield all game long. Freshman James Gayle, a redshirt freshman, had a sack and three tackles for loss as well.
All in all, Saturday was the strongest game this inexperienced defensive line has had all season, and considering it came against an offensive line that returned four starters from a year ago, it bodes well for the future.
*One final note on a local guy. Senior tight end Andre Smith (Seneca Valley) had the best game of his career in terms of receptions. He finished the afternoon with four catches for 44 yards. He had just three catches during the entire 2009 season.